DHS Reminds Travelers that Deadline for REAL ID Compliance is One Year Away

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DHS wants you to double check your ID before you head to the airport. The Department of Homeland Security is reminding travelers that they will start enforcing REAL ID requirements in a little less than a year.

Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or other acceptable forms of identification, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the United States. 

In January of 2017 only 26 states were REAL ID compliant; but as of now, 47 of 50 states are. With just under a year left, only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act implements the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”

The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as at airport security checkpoints. 

“This is an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security and we urge travelers to ensure they have compliant documents,” said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan in a statement. “DHS is committed to working with states as they continue their efforts to issue REAL IDs to Americans.”

REAL IDs are available through your local state driver’s license agency.

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